6 out of 10 separating couples jump straight into court proceedings, refusing to try mediation and flouting the current law.
It could be that couples going through a divorce are unaware of the legal requirement to consider mediation or that their lawyers encourage them to find an exemption to the rules.
Mediation will not be the right process for every issue of dispute, or, for every separating couple. However, refusing to explore mediation or any alternative dispute resolution could be a costly mistake.
In later court proceedings, if the judge decides a person acted unreasonably by refusing to take part in mediation, he may order that person to pay the other party’s costs.
If you would like to explore any form of alternative dispute resolution; mediation, collaborative law, arbitration or out of court negotation – please contact me, Caroline Frost (E: firstname.lastname@example.org , T: 01722 446246) so that I or another member of our firm, can explain the various options available and find the right process for you.
Three years after it became compulsory for separating couples to consider mediating agreements before taking their cases to court, it has emerged that only four out of ten are complying with the landmark legislation. Introduced in April 2014, the law made it compulsory for separating couples to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before they can apply for a court order to settle disputes over parenting, finance and property. However, figures obtained by National Family Mediation (NFM) show that in 2016 over 60 per cent of couples ignored that requirement. Of nearly 90,000 applications for private law proceedings to a family court, only 35,627 had followed the MIAM process.https://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed178331